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Changes in body image and onset of disordered eating behaviors in youth with type 1 diabetes over a five-year longitudinal follow-up

Troncone, A.; Cascella, C.; Chianese, A.; Galiero, I.; Zanfardino, A.; Confetto, S.; Perrone, L.; Iafusco, D.

Journal of Psychosomatic Research 109: 44-50

2018


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-3999
PMID: 29773151
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2018.03.169
Accession: 053957933

To examine changes over a five-year period in body image accuracy and dissatisfaction, as well as relationships with disordered eating behaviors (DEBs), in young patients with type 1 diabetes. Of 81 children (42 male, 39 female) with type 1 diabetes first assessed at ages 5.1-10.06 years, 67 (83%) were re-enrolled and interviewed as adolescents (aged 10.07-15.08 years) at follow-up. DEBs were assessed using a parent-report standardized measure. Height and weight were determined, and BMI was calculated. Glycemic control was assessed by glycated hemoglobin. BMI increased from childhood to adolescence. The general tendency towards body size underestimation (i.e., perceiving the body to be smaller than it is) and dissatisfaction, already described at baseline, was found unchanged at follow-up, revealing continuing attitude towards body image problems. Body-size perception accuracy, degree of body-size dissatisfaction, and HbA1c did not increase significantly over five years, but the presence of DEBs was observed. Degree of body dissatisfaction was found to be a significant predictor for DEBs (standardized beta = 0.272, p < 0.05). Body image problems persisted over the five-year study period and were found associated with higher levels of DEBs. Identification of such body image characteristics may be useful in developing strategies for intervention early in the course of illness.

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